In the last post, we talked about how efficient billing is more important in the legal business than any other industry. This is true because of the frequency of billing and collections disputes, and because of ethics practices (the legal bar can put a spotlight on your billing practices).
So what are your options for time management systems?
Option A. You can bill manually, i.e. with calculator or pencil. But it isn’t just that this is slow and laborious. If you find a mistake, fixing the mistake becomes no less than a nightmare. You need a more specialized law office billing system.
Option B. You can use a spreadsheet or a generic accounting program. Because they are generic, they do not take into account legal-specific challenges. Using these systems is like improvising as a chef in front of a campfire, or using a baseball bat as a golf club: not impossible, but exhausting. Perceived advantages include “free” software that you already own, without a learning curve. But the disadvantages are too many to list—and all include failed efficiencies. Again, specific legal time tracking software is not only helpful: once you learn its ease of use, you’ll wonder how you did without.